In the first of the Leader Cup semi-finals played at Allen Park on Friday night last, Clonguish overcame Colmcille in an entertaining encounter which produced an array of cards from referee Michael O’Brien including a dubious black one to former county star Paul Barden.
Clonguish started the better with two good goal chances squandered, one a gilt edge opportunity falling to Shane O’Brien.
Scores were scarce and with twenty minutes gone Clonguish led by 0-5 to 0-2 with Paddy Dowd (two frees), Paul Barden (two from play) and a neat Kevin Burke effort accounting for the Clonguish points.
A point apiece from Rory Hawkins and Ruairi Harkin kept Colmcille in contention and had they not squandered some good scoring chances, including frees, they might have found themselves in front at the break.
Two Paul McKeon frees late in the first half closed the gap to the minimum of margins at half-time, 0-5 to 0-4.
On the resumption an eleven minute spell decided the outcome with Clonguish scoring 1-5.
The crucial goal resulted following a sweeping move from the throw-in that saw Stephen Norton set up David Barden who raced through the Colmcille defence before off-loading the ball to Ciaran Williams who finished to the net from close range.
The introduction of Conor Shields , who scored two fine points, was a telling factor and midway through the second half Clonguish had established a comfortable 1-10 to 0-5 advantage.
Colmcille were thrown a lifeline when a long ball into the Clonguish goalmouth was deemed to have been deflected over the line by keeper Mikie McGuinness and following long deliberations from the referee and his umpires the goal was awarded.
Colmcille did exert some more pressure in the final few minutes but poor finishing continued to be their downfall as Clonguish came out on top in moving a step closer to winning the Leader Cup for the first time since 2011.
Impressive displays from the Barden brothers Paul and David, along with Paddy Dowd, while Darragh McLoughlin, Ronan Sweeney, Conor Shields, Stephen Norton and Ciaran Williams all tried hard for Clonguish.
Most prominent for Colmcille were Francis Kavanagh, Declan Reilly, Ruairi Harkins and Rory Hawkins along with competent goalkeeper Mark Kiernan who pulled off some fine saves throughout the game.
Clonguish will meet Killoe or Mullinalaghta in the All County Football League Division 1 Leader Cup Final.
CLONGUISH: Mikie McGuinness; Ronan Sweeney, Stephen McLoughlin, Gerald Moore; Darren Quinn, Paddy Dowd (0-4, two frees) Brendan Devine; Peter Hanley, David Barden (0-1); Kevin Burke (0-1), Paul Barden (0-3), Colin Farrell; Shane O’Brien, Stephen Norton, Ciaran Williams (1-0 ).
Subs used:- Conor Shields (0-2), David Faughnan and Christopher Gordon.
COLMCILLE: Mark Kiernan; Shane Grey, Ciaran Brady, Noel Farrell; Francis Kavanagh, Declan Reilly, Gerry Mulligan; John Paul Reilly, Cathal Reilly (0-1); Ruairi Harkin (0-1), Paul McKeon (0-1, free), Darren Mulligan; Cathal McCabe, Barry McKeon (0-2, frees), Rory Hawkins (0-1).
Referee: Michael O’Brien (Longford Slashers).